Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is It Arrogant to Speak with Certainty Regarding the Paranormal?

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

"And When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes." (Matt. 7:28-29) 

Is it arrogant to authoritatively assert that ghosts are demons, and that the bible does not have any wiggle room on this? I thought this would be an appropriate way to pull together and apply all that we have been saying about the attributes of Scripture...its authority relative to paranormal matters. I have been known to be quite assertive and certain in my comments--this has not always gone over very well....It seems that an amount of confidence is okay, within "reason", BUT to speak with utter certitude is deemed cocky and arrogant. "This is the mystery realm...we revel in diverse opinions." And what about the folks who are suffering?

Suppose God Himself appeared to you. Further, suppose He said this to you...face-to-face: "I want you to tell everyone you can about how Satan, and those filthy demons, are deceiving my beloved people by pretending to be ghosts. When people die, I immediately send them to heaven or hell. I love you--now go!" Suppose you had such an encounter--would you have any problem with following His command? Would you hem and haw when the topic of ghosts came up in conversations? Would you worry about sounding arrogant when speaking with winsome certainty? Certainly not! So, why is there such a small band of brothers/sisters addressing this vital issue? And even less with convincing, loving certainty?

Jesus did not hem and haw; He spoke with utter certainty on a wide range of topics, and the crowds marveled..And we learned that the written Word of God carries with it all the authority  of God's divine voice and the oral words of Jesus. That authority can be nothing less than ultimate and absolute. We have learned that when we read the bible we are not just reading verbiage...or just inspired sentences. WE ARE HAVING AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE REAL PRESENCE OF GOD HIMSELF!

We have repeatedly noted that the bible is 100 clear and emphatic that alleged ghosts are really demons

Let me give you this illustration from church history. The great reformer Martin Luther was engaged in debate with the learned Roman Catholic scholar Erasmus. What they were discussing was of immense importance, and this caused Luther to argue with great earnestness and zeal--the gospel was at stake! Well, being the gentleman and scholar that he was, Erasmus complained that Luther needed to show more humility and not be so dogmatic in his assertions. Uh oh...wrong thing to say! After thoroughly demeaning Erasmus (which Luther should not have done), he stated: "the Holy Spirit is NOT A SKEPTIC..." (Back in the day, the philosophical Skeptics debated everything and believed nothing) Luther's point is that it is not a sign of humility to hem and haw on a subject that the Holy Spirit has inspired and made clear. It is actually arrogant to NOT be assertive about subjects the bible is clear about because it implies that you are not trusting in its authority...autonomous thinking  In other words, being utterly certain and confident in one's assertions regarding the bible's teaching (providing it is clear and done winsomely) is a sign of submission to the Lordship of Christ. Remember our hypothetical certainty regarding our message would be the only reasonable response.

The paranormal receives a great deal of attention in the bible--explicitly or implicitly. Because of the amount of detail, it is crystal clear. Below is just a small list of some of the topics the bible is crystal clear about

1.God is the sovereign, holy creator and redeemer
2.The instant we die, all of our souls stand before God in judgement and we are sent to heaven or hell...Judgement Day is simply public pronouncement
3 The paranormal realm is Satan's temporary home
4. Attempting to speak to the dead is an occultic sin
5. There are no trapped spirits on earth
6. Virtually all paranormal activity is demonic
7. Identifying entities in the spirit realm is a theological issue and not a scientific issue.

It seems to me that the paranormal community will gladly receive opinions, no matter how farfetched, based on a false notion of paranormal unity. Hence, any antithetical assertions--A is right and B is wrong--is considered judgmental and closed minded.

To assert with winsome certainty that ghosts are demons is NOT is humbly agreeing with God--seeing ghosts through His eyes. The essence of wisdom is to fear God, and trusting that His word is more sure than life itself. What the church and world needs are folks who will speak with prophetic certainty regarding this doctrine of demons.

God has ORDERED US to get out and tell folks all that Jesus commanded...that is the Great Commission...which has become the Great Omission when it comes to telling the liberating truth to those confused by the paranormal or oppressed by the demonic. How can we blame so many folks for believing this Satanic lie when so few are obeying God's personal call to YOU AND I TO GO? Go, and assert with certainty!

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